The OpenFOAM Issue Tracking system exists to enable users to report issues. An issue exists when OpenFOAM behaves in a manner that does not meet reasonable expectations, including in design and usability. OpenFOAM is mature, quality software, whose successful development demands that issues are resolved in a timely manner. Roadmap development obstructs issue resolution, resulting in unreliable software and inefficient development. Instead, free, open source software can exploit agile development with frequent code release, as the best strategy for CFD development. Users should adopt continuous upgrade to minimize cost and to benefit the agile development strategy.
OpenFOAM version 4.0 is the latest major version of OpenFOAM, released on 28th June 2016. CFD Direct was by far the largest contributor to OpenFOAM 4.0, contributing the vast majority of new functionality including post-processing, numerous boundary conditions and physical models. Additionally, we contributed across all other aspects of software engineering that make OpenFOAM a mature, modern environment for CFD. This article provides the inside view of that work on the software engineering behind OpenFOAM 4.0, contributed largely during a 3 month period from April-July, 2016.
During our first year, we made over 900 code commits to the to the public development line of OpenFOAM, making us by far the largest contributor of code to OpenFOAM. In 2015, we produced one major, one minor and one patch release of OpenFOAM. We carried out maintenance on OpenFOAM, reducing the number of outstanding issues by approximately 35%, involving over 500 commits to the bug fix line of OpenFOAM 3.0. We managed the OpenFOAM Foundation, established a free OpenFOAM documentation resource, and our posts on social media updated users about developments to OpenFOAM , which encouraged a strong community to support and contribute to OpenFOAM as free software.
OpenFOAM is free software, meaning users have the freedom to run, copy, distribute, study, change and improve the software. Users benefit from these freedoms, which account for much of OpenFOAM’s popularity. The OpenFOAM Foundation is the copyright holder of OpenFOAM, which it licenses exclusively under the GPL. It maintains a strong legal position to enforce the licence and preserve its freedoms, by being the single owner of OpenFOAM. This requires contributors to the project to assign copyright in their OpenFOAM contributions to it, through its Contributor Agreement. Organisations with a serious commitment to free software are signing the Agreement, including CFD Direct, blueCAPE, VTT Technical Research of Finland Ltd and Intel.
Where is the Source Code? is a campaign to promote free, public distribution of OpenFOAM and software that links intimately to OpenFOAM. It is in response to a general dissatisfaction with the practice of making a modification to OpenFOAM, then promoting the benefits of the modification, without making that modification freely available to the public, often in order to sell it commercially. The campaign is simply to get people to ask “Where is the Source Code?” when modifications like this are promoted, for example after a conference presentation or in a response to a discussion on the Internet.